Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
I estimate that there have been approximately 19,000 deaths by euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada since legalization. Here is how I come to that number.
In Ontario there were 1789 reported assisted deaths in 2019, 1499 in 2018, 841 in 2017, and 189 in 2016. The 1789 reported assisted deaths in 2019 represented 774 in the first half of the year and 1015 in the second half.
The report provided information on the 2019 Canadian MAiD deaths. According to the report:
- In 2019, there were 5,631 MAID deaths reported in Canada, up from 4467 in 2018, accounting for 2.0% of all deaths.
- The number of cases of MAID in 2019 represented an increase of 26.1% over 2018 with every province experiencing a steady growth in the number of cases of MAID since its introduction into law in 2016.
- When all data sources are considered, the total of number of medically assisted deaths reported in Canada from legalization until December 31, 2019 was 13,946.
Bill C-7 will lead to more death.
In September 2019, Quebec Superior Court Justice Baudouin, struck down the requirement in Canada’s euthanasia law that a person’s natural death be reasonably foreseeable and the court gave the federal government six months to amend the law based on the Truchon court decision. The government did not appeal the decision.
On February 24, the federal government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the Quebec Court decision striking down the requirement in the law that a person’s “natural death be reasonably foreseeable” before qualifying to be killed. Due to the prorogation of parliament, Bill C-7 was re-introduced on October 5, 2020.
What changes does Bill C-7 make to the law?
1. Bill C-7 removes the requirement in the law that a person’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable to qualify for death by lethal injection. Therefore, people who are not terminally ill can die by euthanasia. The Quebec court decision only required this amendment to the law, but Bill C-7 went further.
2. Bill C-7 permits a doctor or nurse practitioner to lethally inject a person who is incapable of consenting, if that person was previously approved for assisted death. This contravenes the Supreme Court of Canada Carter decision which stated that only competent people could die by euthanasia.
3. Bill C-7 waives the ten-day waiting period when a person is deemed to be “terminally ill.” A person could request death by euthanasia on a “bad day” and die the same day. Studies prove that the “will to live” fluctuates.
4. Bill C-7 creates a two track law. A person who is deemed to be terminally ill would have no waiting period while a person who is not terminally ill will have a 90 day waiting period before being killed by lethal injection.
If Bill C-7 is passed, a future court decision will strike down the 90 day waiting period for people whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable because, it would be argued that this provision represents an inequality in the law.
5. Bill C-7 falsely claims to prevent euthanasia for people with mental illness. The euthanasia law permits MAiD for people who are physically or psychologically suffering that is intolerable to the person and that cannot be relieved in a way that the person considers acceptable.” However, mental illness, which is not defined in the law, is considered a form of psychological suffering.
If the government wants to exclude euthanasia for mental illness, Bill C-7 would need to define psychological suffering in a manner that excludes euthanasia for mental illness.
Bill C-7 permits anyone who believes that their physical or psychological suffering to be intolerable to qualify for death by lethal injection, even if effective medical treatments for their condition exists, with a 90 day waiting period. (Link to Bill C-7)
The Canadian government must reject Bill C-7 and begin the promised 5-year review of the euthanasia law with an open view to what is actually happening rather than continuing to expand euthanasia, making Canada the most permissive euthanasia regime in the world.
This article was originally published in Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Click here to read the Original Article
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